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Iraq’s PM concludes tightrope regional tour

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's tour — which spanned Saudi Arabia, Iran and Kuwait — aimed to maintain regional balances amid discussions on post-IS preparations and regional aid to Iraq.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) receives Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 19, 2017. Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RTS17RRQ
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BAGHDAD — Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's foreign tour this week included three stops, most notably Saudi Arabia. It was his first visit to the country since he assumed his position about three years ago. Also, the visit occurred at a time when Gulf relations are going through a historic crisis that erupted after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates officially cut ties with Qatar.

Before leaving for Saudi Arabia, Abadi said in a May 17 meeting attended by Al-Monitor and a group of media professionals that his visit to Saudi Arabia was planned more than a year ago and that he would not discuss the Gulf crisis. He also added that Iraq will not take part in the crisis in any way whatsoever.

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